Warforged 5e Guide

Published on December 10, 2020, Last modified on December 31st, 2020

What is this guide?

This guide is meant to give you an idea of whether or not the Warforged will be right for your character build.

The color code below has been implemented to help you identify, at a glance, how good that option will be for your Warforged. This color coding isn’t a hard and fast rule; there are plenty of sub-optimized options out there that will be viable to your party and will be fun to play.

  • Black is a trait shared by many races and or will not impact the effectiveness of your character build
  • Red isn’t going to contribute to the effectiveness of your character build at all
  • Orange is an OK option
  • Green is a good option
  • Blue is a great option, you should strongly consider this option for your character
  • Sky Blue is an amazing option. If you do not take this option your character would not be optimized

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything Update

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything has added the "Customizing Your Origin" option that may affect the ability score increases, languages, and proficiencies in this guide. To read more about this, visit our D&D Race Guide.

What are Warforged?

The Warforged, native to Eberron, were constructed to be soldiers. Although they are made from metal and wood, Warforged are sentient beings like any other race in Dungeons & Dragons. They are very much alive, and therefore can be hurt and healed like other humanoids. As their personalities developed over the years, each Warforged is unique in their outlook, allegiances, and goals, leaving ample room for you to roleplay to your heart’s content.

Warforged as a playable class can be found in the Eberron: Rising from the Last War campaign setting.

Warforged Traits

Ability Score Increase: With a huge CON boost and one ability score increase of your choice, Warforged are a jack of all trades. While they are probably best in a tanky role because of the CON bonus, the freedom to choose another ASI makes them a viable candidate for just about any build.

Age: It is unknown how long Warforged live because they have not been around very long. They have not displayed any indication of aging, implying they may live forever if they are not killed. Due to their mechanical nature, a benefit of the Warforged race is that they are not affected by aging magic.

Alignment: Warforged lean towards being lawful neutral. This may vary drastically depending on their life experiences and for whom they have worked for.

Size: Warforged are Medium creatures. This is neither good nor bad!

Speed: 30 feet walking speed is standard.

Constructed Resilience: There is so much utility packed into this one feature. Warforged can ignore most of the things that regular living creatures need to worry about, such as eating, sleeping, and disease.

Sentry’s Rest: Having a Warforged in the party can completely negate the need for keeping watch or using an alarm spell while taking a Long Rest in a dangerous place.

Integrated Protection: Free AC! The main drawback is that putting on and taking off armor takes much longer than usual, which would only really matter in rare and extremely specific situations.

Specialized Design: Tool proficiencies in 5e aren’t that useful but an extra skill is always nice.

Languages: Common and one other language. This is fairly standard.

Which Classes Work With Warforged?

Because of the combination of CON, a free ASI choice, and useful racial features, Warforged work well with just about any class. Some are clearly more synergistic, but none of the classes will clash with the Warforged traits. Muti Ability Dependent (MAD) classes may be less optimal, but the increased survivability from the CON boost makes up for it.

Artificer: Really cool for roleplay, since you can be a tinkerer who was created through tinkering. INT is your main stat, so take that with your free ASI point and focus on survivability with the boosted CON and one of the sweet armor infusions.

Barbarian: Barbarians already have incredible survivability, so the CON boost and Constructed Resilience can make you near unkillable. Since the only other stat Barbarians care about is STR, taking that with your free ASI point is the obvious choice.

Bard: If you want to play as a Warforged Bard, you will get the most bang for your buck in one of the melee-oriented Bard Colleges. As a ranged spellcaster, the boosted CON and increasing CHA is serviceable. 

Cleric: A Warforged Cleric focused on WIS will have an incredible AC score, and a sizeable chunk of hit points to boot. 

Druid: The Druid is one of the weaker choices for a Warforged character, especially if you plan to use Wild Shape regularly. WIS is the main stat Druids care about, so use your free ASI choice there.

Fighter: Everything about the Warforged works in tandem with what Fighters like to do, with additional utility from the racial traits.

Monk: There is some overlap here with the Monk’s class features at higher levels. Still, Monk’s do well with higher AC and can focus on increasing WIS.

Paladin: Paladins care about STR, CON, and DEX, and many even want to boost their CHA to help their Spellcasting Modifier. It will be impossible to focus on everything when your biggest racial ASI is CON, but a Warforged Paladin will still perform very well as a frontline melee attacker and damage soaker.

Ranger: There is nothing truly exciting about a Warforged Ranger, but every racial trait is beneficial.

Rogue: Despite their weak hit dice, Rogues have many ways to increase their survivability. The Warforged adds even more durability to this slippery character class, namely CON, AC, and the benefits of Constructed Resilience.

Sorcerer: Most Sorcerers don’t want to be taking too many hits, but the increased durability will be nice to have on many occasions. They also only really care about CHA so the free ASI choice is obvious. You will need to do some mental gymnastics on making this work in terms of roleplay, though. The way Sorcerers gain their power is through bloodlines and references souls, so your Warforged may need to come to terms with existential dilemmas. 

Warlock: As with the Bard, Warforged Warlocks do best when built with melee combat in mind. Consider a Hexblade Warlock if you want to use this race and raise your CHA with the ASI boost.

Wizard: Most Wizards stay out of combat range whenever they can, with the exception of Bladesinger Wizards. Take INT as the free ASI choice and you have a viable and more durable Wizard build.

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